Editor’s Note: David Goldfischer suspended his Senate campaign on March 17, 2020.

Resume: Associate professor at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies; homeland security consultant (worked with the Department of Defense, state of Colorado, and Department of Homeland Security)

Party: Democrat

Give me your 30-second elevator pitch: Why are you running?
David Goldfischer: I’ve had a career in the fields of national security, as a professor at DU, and then a lot of other roles, and I went from working on the nuclear danger to, after 9/11, working on the new dangers posed in that environment. But in the last few years, it became clear to me that the greatest threat to national security is the threat posed to our democracy by Donald Trump. And it’s not just a domestic threat. It’s in cooperation, in effect with, an ongoing Russian attack. A covert cyber attack categorized by [Robert] Mueller as “sweeping and systematic” on our elections and on our democracy itself. And, as I recognize that Cory Gardner on one hand fully recognizes that threat and despite that has endorsed Trump for reelection, I just got closer and closer to a decision to do everything I can to defend our democracy, and that’s why I got into the race.

What sets you apart from the other Democratic Party candidates?
I think what I really have to offer comes out of the unique opportunity I’ve had as a professor, not just to be engaged in the world, but to study and reflect where we are in history. And we are at a very dangerous moment.

What is your top policy priority?
At this point our democracy itself is in danger….And so the first thing we need to do, whether people are running for office or in office, is to stand up for our democracy. Obviously, I hope for a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate, and a House that remains Democratic. At that point, we’ll have a chance to advance progress and to redress the regression on issues like climate change and healthcare. But there’s no guarantee now, by any means, that that’s even possible….The Republican senators, including Cory Gardner, who hopes to ride on the coattails of a cheater to victory in Colorado. And so holding those senators including our own senator accountable for this attack on our republic has to be the top priority of everyone who believes in this 230-year-old American experiment.

How would you ensure Colorado’s interests are met in Washington, D.C.?
One role of the senator is to simply represent his state, and I think there are super majorities in Colorado in support of the agenda that I share with my fellow Democrats, and that includes things like affordable health care for all, affordable education for all, finally resuming and intensifying our fight against climate change. These are issues that, of course, resonate in particular ways within our state. And as senator, one part of your role is to listen to those particular interests and to respond to them….We have a situation now where the House of Representatives has passed great legislation across the range of national needs but unless we flip the Senate and have Colorado represented by two Democratic senators there’s really little hope of making the kind of progress that our state needs.

How would you work with an increasingly divided Senate?
Nobody knows what the Senate will look like in 2021. And I think, very naturally, candidates for the Senate like to speak in front of audiences as if its a given that we will not only have flipped the Senate, but there will be a Democratic president….Of course, I would be thrilled to be part of a collaborative effort in Washington, D.C. that’s under Democratic control. That’s not a certainty, and so the role I will have, if elected, can be very dramatically different if I’m part of an effort to resume progress on the vital challenges facing our country or if I’m an utterly forceful, relentless strong voice in defense of our democracy.

What is something voters might not know about you?
What I’m hoping they learn is that I have a strong voice, a steady voice, that I’m deeply informed on not only domestic politics but on the fact that we are deeply embedded in global issues. That there is no escape from continuing to have a strong voice in the world. I think there is a tendency now, as we are absorbed in deep national divisions and really a faithful political crisis at home, to start just looking inward. We simply can’t afford to do that.

Now for the lightning round….Pick one: 

Broncos or Rockies? 

I-25 or I-70? 

National Western Stock Show or a show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre? 
Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Coors Banquet Beer or a Colorado craft brew? 
Colorado craft brew

Hike a fourteener or raft the Arkansas River? 
Hike a fourteener

Fall foliage or wildflower season? 
Fall foliage

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve or Rocky Mountain National Park? 
Rocky Mountain National Park

Wyoming or Utah? 

Editor’s note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity. These interviews were conducted in early 2020, after the initial publication of this package.

Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner is a Denver-based writer and the former Articles Editor for 5280.